Calvin Walker asks SCOTUS to intervene

Calvin Walker

In a filing made to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on Nov. 10, former Beaumont Independent School District and city of Port Arthur contract electrician Calvin Walker is asking the nation’s highest court to find unconstitutional the state charges of fraud and money laundering he faces.

According to Walker’s counsel, the embattled electrician is facing prosecution for a second time based on the same charges, which is tantamount to “double jeopardy.” Lower courts have ruled that the state charges are exempt from double jeopardy claims as this is the first time the state has brought these charges against Walker. He faced similar charges in 2011 brought by the Department of Justice, a separate sovereign court from the state of Texas and Jefferson County, which precludes the “double jeopardy” argument, the courts ruled.

In 2011, the DOJ secured a 37-count indictment against Walker that alleged mail fraud, wire fraud, interstate transfer of funds by fraud, fraud in connection with organizations that receive federal funds, and money laundering involving transactions greater than $10,000 – all connected to bills to the school district that spanned multiple years and amounted to millions of dollars. After a lengthy trial with no verdict, Walker pleaded guilty to a tax violation and all the charges were dropped with an agreement that included a roughly $2 million forfeiture and other concessions.

In 2014, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office filed state charges alleging Walker defrauded BISD and the city of Port Arthur using fraudulent billing practices and laundered the approximately $4.7 million he garnered from the scheme using annuities.

The Supreme Court has given the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office until Dec. 12 to submit written response to Walker’s official “writ of certiorari” request, which is a request that the Supreme Court order a lower court to send up the record of the case for review.

“The court usually is not under any obligation to hear these cases, and it usually only does so if the case could have national significance, might harmonize conflicting decisions in the federal Circuit courts, and/or could have precedential value,” according to information from SCOTUS administration, which adds that four of the nine justices must vote to approve hearing a case. “In fact, the Court accepts 100-150 of the more than 7,000 cases that it is asked to review each year.”